Shilling alert: Over at The New Ledger, fellow USNI contributor Craig Hooper and myself have a new piece advocating for the creation of a second Great White Fleet. The United States can do anything, but it cannot do everything. With our attention and resources already committed near capacity around the globe, the U.S. needs strong partnerships to build a more resilient, secure world. A new Great White Fleet is an opportunity to build the relationships we need to face the threats of the coming decades. Describing the original Great White Fleet before its departure, U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Robley Evans… Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by Christopher Albon in Navy, Soft Power | 
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In the last week there has been a fair bit online like Chris’s post below about what is being done with the Navy-USMC team now, and elsewhere about what is coming to help with the humanitarian effort in Pakistan. Soft power is a popular topic. The Department of Defense announced Aug. 13 the deployment of the Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group (KSG ARG) and 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (26th MEU). The combined Navy and Marine Corps team will leave later this month to bring significant heavy- and medium-lift aircraft and other assets to support flood relief efforts in Pakistan. The Kearsarge ARG/26th… Read the rest of this entry »


For years, there has been one constant challenge for United States and coalition military operations in Afghanistan: insufficient rotary wing aircraft. Rotary assets ferry supplies, carry soldiers, and provide air support all over the country. Put bluntly, helicopters are the coin-of-the-realm: the more you have, the more you can do. And we do not have enough. There has been numerous attempts to rectify the dearth of rotary assets, including some rather shady ones. However, helicopters still remain one of the most needed military resources in Afghanistan. In response to the deadly flooding in Pakistan, the Pakistani military reassigned some helicopters… Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by Christopher Albon in Navy | 
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Against future irregular threats, cooperation is the name of the game. This is the message of a new Navy Vision [pdf] signed off by chief of Naval Operations Admiral Gary Roughead in January. The Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower highlights the unique position of the US Navy to “leverage access to the maritime domain and cooperate with partner navies and security forces to dissuade, deter, and defeat irregular threats at sea and ashore”. Specifically, the Vision argues for confronting irregular challenges with: “Increased effectiveness in stabilizing and strengthening regions, by securing and leveraging the maritime domain, with and in… Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by Christopher Albon in Navy, Soft Power | 
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3 out of a 3-part series.  Today, USNI Blog concludes its interview with Lt. Gen. Seip. Q: What are the costs of ignoring Soft Power? Seip: Great question – and that’s the case AFSOUTH (and many other commands) have to make when proposing new initiatives or funding requests. The future costs of inaction can be quite high. Soft Power done correctly goes a long way towards keeping US forces out of a future Iraq or Afghanistan fight. Soft Power can also assist partner nations in seeking regional solutions to common issues before these problems grow in magnitude and evolve into… Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by Jim Dolbow in Soft Power | 
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2nd of a 3-part series USNI Blog continues its talk with Lt. Gen. Norman Seip, USAF. Q: What is the Air Force’s relationship with the U.S. Public Health Service and NGO’s like Operation Smile and Project Hope? Seip: AFSOUTH has a strong relationship with the US Public Health Service and with non-governmental organizations such as Project Hope. Last year, Air Force medical technicians accomplished more than 30 medical engagements across the region, partnering with a number of non-governmental organizations, local Ministries of Health and USPHS. This year, we’re unveiling even more of these initiatives during medical engagements in Peru – the… Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by Jim Dolbow in Soft Power | 
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1st of a 3-part series In a USNI Blog exclusive, I recently interviewed Lt. Gen. Norman Seip, Twelfth Air Force and Air Forces Southern Commander, on the USAF’s role in Soft Power. Seip is a passionate and inspirational leader and these traits will serve him and our nation well as the 12th Air Force “builds, enhance, and strengthen partnerships…”  As you will see by our interview, the USAF is doing some great things in regards to Soft Power. Today’s post focuses on some general background information on soft power as well as funding issues. Q: What is the U.S. Air Force’s… Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by Jim Dolbow in Soft Power | 
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I just finished reading The Soft Side of Airpower by Major John W. Bellflower, Small Wars Journal, and I have to say the Air Force appears to be putting a bit more thought into who they are and what they can do, at least in regards to what is being said publicly. This sample sets the stage for a very interesting article. Contrary to the advice of General Lorenz and Secretary Wynne, most articles discussing the employment of airpower in irregular warfare often adhere to a myopic view of airpower that considers only what airpower can do to the enemy…. Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by galrahn in Uncategorized | 
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Last week, Denmark the Netherlands announced that the amphibious transport ship HNLMS Johan de Witt will participate in Africa Partnership Station. The two month deployment is the Dutch Navy’s first major soft-power cruise. The deployment of the Johan de Witt demonstrates the growing Dutch interest in soft-power. But why? Part of it has to do will the increasing acceptance of soft-power as a useful tool in international relations. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates argued as such two years ago and I whole-heartedly agree. However, there is likely another reason: soft-power cruises give navies missions for their ships. The last eight years… Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by Christopher Albon in Navy, Soft Power | 
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In the wake of Hassan Rowhani’s landslide victory as Iran’s new president, some foreign policy mavens now believe that Rowhani’s presidency may augur a positive shift in Iran’s hitherto hostile policy towards the West. However, despite a glimmer of hope that Rowhani’s election may translate into moderate policies towards the West, others have “adopted a cautious ‘wait-and-see’ posture,” citing Rowhani’s past affiliation with the Ayatollah. For East Asian experts, Rowhani’s election warrants attention because it remains to be seen whether Iran will retain its current alliance with Kim Jŏng-ŭn even if it chooses to reconcile with the West. After all, some… Read the rest of this entry »


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